There is this conflict between satisfaction of self and a willingness to treat the relationship and the other person in the relationship well. Some people believe that it is more satisfying to keep the ego intact than it is to work things out and keep the relationship they are in, healthy. In case you think I am speaking to love / partner relationships, I am not. I am speaking to any relationship that struggles with bad boundaries and bad behavior. Trust me, that includes ANY relationship: sisters, lovers, bosses and brothers, even your own offspring.
What’s awful about relationships with bad boundaries is that they do not happen over night, they progress through time until one day you wake up and the relationship that you are in, is unrecognizable from the relationship that you began with. How does this happen?
I say that it does not matter how it happened. What I say is that if you find yourself in one of these relationships – no matter who it is with – you must choose. Because:
Love is necessary to maintain a relationship, but it is not sufficient. This is the piece that I struggle with. While I may love you, I must recognize that love is not enough. In order to have a relationship we must be capable of mutual respect and honor of each other’s differences and similarities. And here is where I draw the line – abusive behavior is not to be forgiven.
Regardless of who you are and what you act like, I can maintain my love for you – but I do not need to maintain my relationship with you. While there is an entire conversation about forgiveness, I say this: Forgiveness is for fools, because an apology is just a request to indulge in bad behavior again.